The revitalisation of the Ceres branch in the Western Cape by the concessionaire, The Ceres Railway Company, is moving forward with the first container train having run from Ceres to Cape Town in the last week of August. Plans for passenger operation are well underway with the first trains expected in late 2015. This will be steam hauled from Cape Town to Ceres leaving on a Saturday morning with overnight accommodation and meals in Ceres. Return will be on Sunday afternoon allowing visitors to enjoy Ceres. An option of bus...Read more
Recently we reported on the last commercial steam in South Africa at Sappi Saiccor in Umkomaas and the theft of rails from the Cullinan branch. The UK magazine, Steam Railway, has reported these items together with a short story on the last industrial steam in Southern Africa at BCL Mine in Selebe Pikwe in Botswana.
Click here to view the article - JPG
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We decided to plant wheat for the first time in some years this season and, based on experience from the previous plantings, we have planted two different cultivars – one called ‘elands’ being an all rounder we have had good results with in the past. The second is a newer ‘spring’ cultivar that has been planted in our area in previous years, as late as 20 august, namely ‘SST 374’.
Apart from planting a later ‘spring’ cultivar we decided to start planting later, meaning that we did so when most of...Read more
In one of the most progressive moves in the rail preservation arena in South Africa, the Sandstone Heritage Trust, Reefsteamers and Friends of the Rail have announced a cooperation agreement to take them forward in the years to come.
This has commenced with the planned return to service of David Shepherd’s celebrity 15F No. 3052 and Sandstone’s GMAM No. 4079 after extensive refurbishment at Reefsteamers in the coming months.
Click here to see the press release.
Both Reefsteamers and Friends of The Rail will showcase themselves with public Open days in 2015 and...Read more
The recent purchase of scrap 2ft narrow gauge wagons from the Port Elizabeth area raised some comments on social media by the Apple Express. Mr Wilfred Mole, of Sandstone Heritage Trust, has written this open letter to Ms. Nerina Skuy, the Chairperson of the Apple Express and Chairperson of the Heritage Railway Association of Southern Africa, outlining the motivation behind these purchases. Below is the letter and attachments.
Amidst the noise and social media frenzy it is perhaps a good idea to stop, step back, and actually reflect on the...Read more
The Centurion Society of Model Engineers is a club based in Pretoria who are passionate about their model steam. Have a look at their latest newsletter and some fascinating facts about the multi gauge tracks they use.
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There has been a long running consultation between Transnet Foundation and the South African Heritage Resource Agency over the fate of the remaining steam locomotives in South Africa. Whilst those on lease lend to various clubs and organisations will be unaffected, the vast majority of the remainder will either be sold, put on lease lend or scrapped. The letter below from HRASA confirms that the decision to go ahead with this has been taken.
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In a dispute unheard of in South African railway preservation, the representative body of the steam preservation operators, the Heritage Rail Association of Southern Africa (HRASA), took it upon themselves to suspend one of their members, Reefsteamers. While the actions are questionable (and we’ll get back to that) it was done in the full knowledge that the financially strapped organisation could be put out of business. What representative industry organisation can knowingly take such an action? The key seems to be that HRASA was taking an increasing regulatory stance in...Read more
Click here for a look at 24 Class No. 3620 originally imported to New Zealand by Ian Welch and subsequently moved to Australia. The local modifications do not enhance 3620's appearance at all!Read more